NICOLE COOKE TAKES FIRST SEASON WIN
Nicole Cooke took her first win for almost a year since winning the National Road Race Championships last June.
Cooke won stage 3a of the Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira in Spain at the weekend, a 5.9km individual time trial from Elorrio to Elgueta.
Cooke was the fastest on the uphill time trial defeating Judith Arndt and Marianne Vos by 15 and 25 seconds respectively.
"I'm pleased for sure," an elated Cooke told Cycling Weekly. "It just shows that all the hard work that I've been putting in has been is paying off and I'm heading in the right direction".
"I'm especially pleased to win in a time trial as well," Cooke added, "as it all about the strongest who wins. I've been working on my climbing as I always do for road racing but it's been one of my first chances to really put myself to the test".
Cooke was fifth on the next stage but did not finish the final stage of the race.
Cooke will now contest the Giro del Trentino - a race she won last year - en route to defending her national road race title, with the potential to become an 11-time winner.
See this Thursday's Cycling Weekly for more on Nicole Cooke's win.
TWO JUNIOR NATIONALS ON THE TROTT
Hot on the heels of a strong win in Belgium, Laura Trott claimed a second consecutive junior women's national road race title on Sunday at the Capernwray road race in Lancashire.
"I won the Derny national championships last weekend, but that one was a non-pressure event. Because I won the road last year, it meant a lot to do it again," she said.
She was the only junior - the event was also open to senior riders - in the decisive breakaway. However, it wasn't such a straightforward win, as Trott was briefly and unceremoniously dumped out of the breakaway and onto the verge by a mid-race touch of wheels.
"In another report on the internet, it sounds like I've crashed, like I've lost concentration. But what's happened is that we clipped wheels. Instead of leaning left, the lady in front leant right and because I was on her wheel, that was it - she took my front wheel out in the process and we ended up in the hedge."
Hannah Barnes (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta) and Sarah King (Langdale Lightweights RT) took silver and bronze in the junior competition - not that Trott knew much about it.
"Because it split on the first lap, I never saw any juniors for the rest of the race. But when I did look behind and got told at the end by another rider, Hannah Barnes was only, say, 500 metres off the back at the start of the split," Trott explained.
Her next big goal is the Junior World Track Championships in Italy in mid-August, targeting the pursuit. "I was talking to my coach about maybe riding the time-trial, but it's all about whether I can get my track legs back in time," she added.
Meanwhile, Natalie Creswick (Twickenham CC) took the race victory with a late solo effort. "It was only when I could actually see the finish line and went over it that I truly believed I had won," Creswick said.
1. Natalie Creswick (Twickenham CC)
2. Kara Chesworth (Dysynni CC)
3. Anna Fischer (Maxgear RT)
4. Ali Holland (Maxgear RT)
5. Corrine Hall (Team Corridori)
6. Laura Trott (Welwyn Wheelers) - first junior
9. Hannah Barnes (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta) - second junior
11. Sarah King (Langdale Lightweights RT) - third junior
PATTEN NEARLY DOUBLES UP IN GRANDGLISE
Espoir rider Dan Patten almost doubled up his recent win in Belgium with another impressive showing that saw him land second place in a race in Grandglise.
Patten escaped with a former pro - Jurgen Guns - with the duo working together to put time into the field.
"We worked well but on the last lap three riders began to get close," Patten explained. "Jurgen attacked me twice on the final lap but I got back to him.
"With the three riders right behind us in the last kilometre I ended up leading it out - not wanting to get caught - and so he unfortunately came round me for the win, but I took second and a couple of primes to go with.
"I was disappointed not to win as feel I may have still done it in the sprint but he obviously used his experience to get me to the front at the right time and took the win," Patten explained philosophically.
KING CONTINUES TO IMPRESS IN BELGIUM
Dani King continues to impress in Belgium, the young Horizon Fitness rider claiming her second win of the season at the weekend in Properpolder.
"There were lots of attacks but none stayed away," said King after the race, who must surely now rank as one of the favourites for the National Championships. "I made sure I stayed near the front and covered any moves that looked dangerous.
"With half a lap to go Helen Wyman got on the front with me on her wheel. She kept the pace high enough to keep me close to the front and out of trouble.
"I had one sprint into the final corner which I hit first and another sprint to the line. Once I kicked I just put my head down and saw no-one coming round."
Horizon Fitness will build for the National Championships before contesting the Tour of the Limousin in July.
An elated King takes the win in Properpolder
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